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FOOTBALL: City spurn chance for vital win

Hull City 1-1 Preston North End (Saturday October 20)

By Alex Green, Beverley FM reporter

Hull City will be left imagining what could have been against Preston North End after a 1-1 draw at the KCOM Stadium. An 84th minute penalty from Jarrod Bowen looked to have won the game for the Tigers, but a stoppage time equaliser from Louis Moult meant that City dropped two points in the relegation battle. 

The first half was very end-to-end with Preston’s best opportunity coming through Sean Maguire, who evaded Jordy de Wijs’ challenge and managed to get to the byline, but Lukas Nmecha was unable to divert the ball into the goal from just a few yards out.

City hit the woodwork twice in the first half; first through Reece Burke, whose shot from 25 yards cannoned back off the post. Just five minutes later, it was Chris Martin’s turn. Daniel Batty crossed the ball in from the right but Martin’s header back across goal hit the crossbar. 

The second half was all City. Five minutes after the interval Jordy de Wijs headed a Grosicki freekick just wide. Just two minutes after that Grosicki was the creator again, this time getting himself to the byline to cut back for Jarrod Bowen who could only turn the ball into Chris Maxwell’s arms. 

On the hour mark, City could have had the opener. It would have been comical, but nothing less than Adkins’ men deserved. Jarrod Bowen was sent through on goal and tried to chip Maxwell. He palmed the ball straight into the face of his covering defender, taking a massive deflection towards goal, but the ball came back off the upright to the disbelief of City fans in the stadium.

Ten minutes from time, Tigers fans were cheering. Burke put a cross in from the right and Jordan Storey dragged Chris Martin to the ground in the area. Jarrod Bowen sent the keeper the wrong way to put City 1-0 up with the resulting penalty.

The points looked to be all City’s going into five minutes of stoppage time, but two minutes from the final whistle Darnell Fisher, who arguably could have seen red for multiple fouls and shows of descent, crossed a ball into Louis Moult, who reacted well and finished on the turn. 

Man of the Match: Kamil Grosicki – The Polish winger showed why big money was splashed on him with a fantastic display. He was always willing to run at the defence and try to create something. “Turbo” caused the Preston defence problems with his pace and skill and could have easily had one or more assists and goals. Hopefully Grosicki can push on from this performance and build some momentum, becoming a key player this season. 

VERDICT: A massive game for Hull City where two points have definitely been dropped. The second half performance was fantastic and if those levels are sustained then City will avoid the drop. However, a big concern is that the goal didn’t come from open play, the last coming against Wigan in September.

Another massive concern for Adkins and the City faithful was the inability to see the game out. Preston didn’t look like creating anything but City sat back and invited pressure from the away side, giving them a way back into the game. These issues have to be sorted if Hull City are to stay away from the drop come the end of the season.

Hull City: David Marshall (C), Eric Lichaj, Reece Burke, Tommy Elphick, Jordy de Wijs, Todd Kane, Jarrod Bowen, Jackson Irvine, Daniel Batty (Kevin Stewart, 90+), Kamil Grosicki (Nouha Dicko, 90+), Chris Martin (Fraizer Campbell, 87).